#81 Cowboys: WR Michael Gallup

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Overview
It isn't often that Colorado State boasts consensus All-Americans but then again, Gallup - a Georgia native - isn't your normal CSU Ram, either.

Gallup earned plenty of attention as a high school prep, earning a total of 16 varsity letters while splitting his time between football, basketball, baseball and track and field. All of that time competing in athletics limited his time on academics and Gallup was forced to go the junior college route out of high school, landing at Butler Community College, one of the premier JUCO programs in the country. Gallup was an immediate standout at Butler, catching 11 touchdowns as a freshman - but his eye-popping production was just beginning.

Gallup was one of the country's most productive receivers during his two seasons at Colorado State, ultimately leaving with 176 receptions for 2,690 yards and 21 touchdowns over 26 games. He was particularly unstoppable at the tail end of the 2016 season, scoring at least one touchdown in every one of his final eight games and averaging 128.4 yards per contest during that span. He earned First Team All-MWC honors from league coaches and the media in 2016, catching 76 passes for 1,272 yards and 14 touchdowns - second most in school history.

As the obvious focus of opponents' coverages in 2017, Gallup's touchdowns dipped to "just" seven, a number inflated by a hat trick he dumped on Nevada. That said, Gallup was an even more of a focal point in CSU's passing game in 2017, setting school records for receptions (100) and receiving yards (1,413) while becoming just the fourth consensus All-American for the Rams. Gallup was named one of three finalists for the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top wideout and earned an invitation to the prestigious Senior Bowl.

BACKGROUND
Played two seasons at Butler County Community College in El Dorado, Kansas prior to signing with CSU over reported offers from Kansas State, New Mexico, UNLV and South Alabama. Out of high school, held offers from Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina State and others. Rated as a three-star recruit by 247 Sports and Rivals. Totaled 780 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns as a freshman in 2014, leading all Jayhawk Conference athletes for yards-per-catch average and ranked second for touchdowns. Had nine catches for 74 yards and one touchdown in four games in 2015, which was limited by an ankle injury. Earned 16 total varsity letters in high school, including four each in football, baseball, basketball and track & field.

Analysis
…STRENGTHS
Possesses a compact, well-built frame for a receiver with very good muscular development. Fluid accelerator who consistently creates separation at the stem with strong cuts and varied gaits. Experienced inside and out in this offense and was asked to run a variety of routes. Shows good hands for the reception, including the ability to pluck the ball from outside of his frame and track over his shoulder. Good timing on his leaps and shows the body control to contort in space and make the difficult grab. Strong hands to catch just the back half of the ball, when necessary... Shows strength, elusiveness and smooth acceleration to be a threat to gain yardage after the catch. Does not back down from physicality. Willing to lower his shoulder and fight through traffic to get the extra yard... Competitive and alert as a downfield blocker. Experienced in cold weather (including snow) with no obvious issues... No known medical or off-field issues while at Colorado State. -- Rob Rang 12/27/2017

WEAKNESSES
More smooth than sudden off the line of scrimmage and many not possess ideal top-end speed... Tied up a bit by physical press coverage, slowing his route (Alabama, 2017)... Got away with some freelancing as a route-runner and will need to do a better job of being consistent with his releases and routes in the NFL to earn the trust of his quarterback. Had a number of "double-clutch" catches on tape and therefore may need to do a better job of focusing first on securing the ball before looking to elude defenders. Missed approximately half of the 2015 season at Butler due to ankle injury, which may require a closer look at the Combine. - Rob Rang 12/27/2017

COMPARES TO: Cecil Shorts III, Buccaneers (retired). The 6-0, 202 pound Shorts was an All-American at Mount Union but had to prove that his production was not simply a by-product of weak competition. Gallup was similarly unstoppable in the Mountain West but projects as more of a complementary short and intermediate target in the NFL, like Shorts who caught 229 passes for 2,979 yards and 14 touchdowns over six seasons in Jacksonville, Houston and Tampa Bay.

IN OUR VIEW: With a last name like Gallup, it is perhaps ironic that one of the biggest questions the record-breaking receiver has to address at this point is his straight-line speed. Gallup's production - regardless of competition faced - speaks for itself as does his well-developed frame. Plug him in at flanker (or the slot) and Gallup should quickly prove one of the better overall receivers from this class.

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